My media musings + some free and interesting things to read/listen to in SELF-ISOLATION
Hi fellow quarantiners!
(If you're one of those people I've seen pictures of on social media at a crowded beach or in backyards partying with neighbors, then this post is not for you. In fact, go fuck yourselves.)
Anyway, it's been a minute (about 3,679,200 minutes, but who's counting?) since I last used this particular blog and figured now would be a good time to bring it back so I can pack a bunch of links to cool, free things and share other links to what I've been reading since (mostly) quarantining with Molly & the Chi's.
Without further ado or fuck yous, here are some temporarily free e-books y'all need to check out:
Reading in a time of coronavirus, Verso is offering five free ebooks. I recommend the ones by Nancy Fraser: The Old is Dying and the New Cannot Be Born and Feminism for the 99 percent: A Manifesto, co-authored by Cinzia Arruzza and Tithi Bhattacharya.
Haymarket is offering 10 ebooks for free. I downloaded Freedom is a Constant Struggle, How We Get Free, The Battle for Paradise and Socialism...Seriously. The last book, by Danny Katch is described as
Here are some other things I don't think I've already shared on social media that are worth checking out:
On the myth of the "Bernie Bros"
"Angela Davis on not endorsing any presidential candidate: 'I think we need a new party'"
Here's another freebie:
Milwaukee Symphony Orchestra plays Rachmaninoff, Debussy, Bernstein and closes with Beethoven's "Symphony No. 5" in an empty Uihlein Hall on March 14, 2020. They recorded it and have offered it up for the people. (Listen on Soundcloud.) I've been listening to this today while continuing to move my courses entirely online.
Continuing with music:
Milwaukee party band Five Card Studs released a single yesterday, "Covid One Nine," set to the music of "Sweet Caroline." I sang back the unwritten responses in proper fashion, like I was on the deck at Barnacle Bud's while Jimmi T crooned his version, while I was doing laundry. Listened to it on repeat a few times, now I'm over it. Short critique: don't take any medical advice from local musicians (also, didn't care much for the coughing they close it out with). Gave the band some cash for it, though, which is much needed by everyone now.
In terms of helping out local and indie artists I bought another T-shirt from the guitar player of Iowa-based screamo-metal band Closet Witch: (looks like it's sold out already; too bad for you).
You've seen the Koi fish painted on things all over town (and the country)? Got this dope Koi-design T-shirt from Jeremy Novy's Etsy shop to help keep that artist going. Below is a fakebook live from when he put his signature fisheees on our sidewalk:
Looking to get some new bass strings delivered from Walker's Point Music Hall. Got the call out anyway ...
And I guess I'll leave you with this: in case you missed Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez's nationwide conference call on mutual aid and what we can really do to help our neighbors and ourselves in this time of Coronavirus or maybe you could just use a proper introduction to the concept, then check out these resources on mutual aid.
Ah, no, wait! I'll leave you with this: got my Old Fashioned game back up to snuff these last few nights (not that it ever was not, uh, off the snuff?).
An Oakland, Ca., 6th-grade teacher created this slideshow about the protests and unrest in response to capitalist education restructuring (education "deform") in Mexico. It was originally shared by the folks at FairTest and Rethinking Schools.
Critical Work was started as a newspaper for worker democracy at the University of Wisconsin - Milwaukee in 2008 by Royal Brevväxling and Lee Abbott. It was published in conjunction with our Worker Education Forums, meetings at which union members in the AFT and AFSCME locals encouraged other unions' members and those not represented by unions, such as all the undergraduate student labor on campus, to attend and speak to their work experience at the university, share stories and identify both shared issues and unique workplace injustices in order to collectively work to right them.
Critical Work was later re-conceptualized as an online space to collect longer academic essays and shorter opinion pieces which extended our analyses of work and labor at UW-Milwaukee to its connections in other workplaces across southeastern Wisconsin.
Critical Work continues to focus on these themes but with a broader mission for social change as based on a host of anti-capitalist principles, each representing the perspectives of its contributors. The fundamental principle is for each perspective to radically question an aspect of dominant ideology -- the subject of each article and blog post.
The current editorial collective of Critical Work are zinesters (zine makers and distributors in the anarchist tradition) and, as such, organize Critical Work as an internet zine or webzine.
Our mission is to provide a space for contributors' smart, radical, sometimes experimental, Critical work; we believe that work which might otherwise be scattered on myriad personal blogs will reach more people and function better if organized collectively.
With that said, and with the launch of the new site, we invite you to examine the Submissions guidelines and put together some of your critical work.
Return to the site often; in the coming weeks, we'll be adding new articles, regular blogs and multimedia pieces.
--The Critical Work editorial collective